Interview with Jamie McDonald

Gloucester’s sporting hero Jamie McDonald has made a name for himself by taking on monumental challenges across the globe, and now, he’s back again, talking to SoGlos about his upcoming 230 marathon challenge!

Brushing off his running shoes yet again, adventure man Jamie McDonald is back with a new epic charity challenge, taking on a 6,000-mile run across America in March 2018.

Jamie’s latest test comes three years after his monumental 5,000-mile solo run across Canada, which raised funds for sick children across the globe.

Having been diagnosed with a rare condition as a child, Jamie chats to SoGlos about what he’s doing to give back and reveals what motivates him to keep going through such mammoth challenges.

Can you tell SoGlos readers a little bit about yourself?

I’m an adventure man, a motivational speaker and an author. I guess I do crazy challenges to try and give back to the hospitals around the world and say thank you.

What made you decide to take on such huge challenges?

It was about five years ago that I was saving up to put a deposit on a house and I just got this gut feeling in my stomach that something was wrong, and I didn’t quite know what it was.

So, I just listened to my gut feeling and didn’t get the house. I reflected a little bit on my life and thought about all the time I’d spent in hospital as a kid, when I was diagnosed with this rare condition called syringomyelia, and I thought maybe I could give something back.

You ran over 5,000 miles across Canada in 2014, what was the hardest part?

I think the hardest part was when I picked up chronic tendinitis in my foot and after 140 marathons, my foot was just in excruciating agony. I remember waking up one morning and thinking I just don’t know if I can get through today and I still had another 60 marathons to go!

My foot was so swollen that I couldn’t actually get it in my trainer and so what I did was get a pair of scissors and cut into the trainer. When I put it on, the trainer was too floppy so I had to duct tape my whole foot up and just went out there and embraced every single painful step.

Can you tell us a bit about your charity, Superhero Foundation?

A couple of years ago we started off by getting a dad to climb up and down Robinswood Hill 70 times, until he reached the equivalent of Mount Everest –we managed to get his daughter an operation in America to enable her to walk as she has cerebral palsy.

We’ve helped another seven families with a similar kind of model and it’s about inspiring people to want to give and feel good about giving, rather than guilting people into making a donation.

What’s the next big challenge for you?

I’m going to Vancouver which was the end of my last adventure and I’m going to run from there for 6,000 miles, the equivalent of 230 marathons, with my pram, from the most westerly to the most easterly point in America.

I’m going to run through every state I possibly can and raise money for the children’s hospital in that state.

How do you work through the pain in your challenges?

I ended up receiving a message from a mum whilst I was really struggling in Canada. I received a message that said ‘Hey Jamie, I don’t know if you remember us but I just want to let you know my boy Samuel, his cancer has returned and now we’re out of treatment options.

She said ‘as a mum of child who’s about to lose his life, I just need to say that you have to keep going Jamie’.

And now for a quick fire round…

What is your must have adventure snack?

A tin of sardines.

What is your adventure soundtrack?

Let’s Stay Together by Al Green because my mum and dad used to listen to it so I find it quite soothing.

If you had to take one item on your challenges, what would it be?

A superhero costume.

For more information on Jamie’s next challenge, see Gloucester’s Jamie McDonald reveals next epic charity challenge.

By Sophie Bird

© SoGlos
Tuesday 24 October 2017

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